The Royal Hungarian high Chivalric Orderof St. Stephen, the Apostolic King

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5
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AUSTRIA

A Grand Cross Set: sash badge in gold; 92x48 mm, the cross’s arms with dark green, translucent enamel on a finely chiselled ground; the obverse centre medallion with the white enameled double cross, sided by the gold letters “M” and “T” (for Maria Theresia, founder of the Order) on a field of translucent red enamel, rising from a chiselled pointed crown resting on the green enameled three mounts; white enameled outer circlet with the order’s motto “PUBLIC UM MERITORIUM PRÆMIUM” (A Prize
of Civil Merits); reverse medallion with abbreviated inscription “STO. ST.RI. AP.” (Sancto Stephano Regi Apostolico = To Saint Stephen, The Apostolic King) in gold lettering on white enameled field, within the outer circlet chiselled with oak leaves under translucent, green enamel; circular upper loop struck with the lozenge-type mark “F.R” of Rothe, Vienna and a gold mark; the royal Hungarian “sacred crown” of St. Stephen with mirror-polished details and fixed upper ring, struck with the same
marks as the cross’s loop; grooved and pearled suspension ring; with its original, shortened sash (for wear on the court dress) with rosette; breast star in silver, 88,5 mm, with typical, Austrian brilliant-cut and pierced rays; centre medallion in gold with separately-made white enameled double cross, sided by the finely chiselled, applied gold letters “M” and “T” on a convex field of translucent red enamel, rising from a chiselled, lilied crown resting on the green enameled three mounts;
white enameled outer circlet with an applied, golden oak wreath with green enameled leaves; the reverse with broad, convex centre disc struck with the early “ROTHE” a hexagonal “Diana’s Head” silver mark and a “900” control mark; vertical pin, struck with “C.F. ROTHE” “WIEN” marks and “Diana’s Head” and a “900” silver control marks.
A beautiful, important and very rare set, extremely fine condition.
The St. Stephen Order was founded in 1764 by Maria Theresia, to create a specific, chivalric order to reward civil merits, following the creation, dating back to 1757, of the Military Order of Maria Theresia.
While the lower two classes were destined to civil merits only, the Grand Cross had a high, state and diplomatic significance, being awarded to highest ranking, foreign sovereigns and dignitaries, s. as the Tsars, the British sovereigns, Napoleon I, Napoleon III, French Marshals like Ney (and his son Joseph-Napoléon), etc.

Shop ID: 
P.9.1